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Pens-Rangers: Five Things to Watch

 
 
Rangers hadn't won in 10 tries at the Igloo until a 3-2 OT win last Feb. 12, so the change of scenery is a welcome sight.
 
1.  Controlling Marian Gaborik. Pens players and coach Dan Bylsma are very aware of his speed and will keep players on him.
 
2. Special teams. Henrik Lundqvist, starting only his third game in 11 days, knows Pens PP is potent, especially with Evgeny Malkin starting to stir. Both PKs are equal, Pitt at home is 80.6, as is Rangers on road.
 
3. Rangers team defense in limiting Crosby (multiple points in six of last seven, 2nd in NHL in scoring) and Malkin (4-7-11 in last four). Gilroy-Sauer are vulnerable.
“It’s a test for all our D ---no matter if you’re Marc Staal, Eminger, (Michael) Sauer,” coach John Tortorella said. “They’ve got some pretty good players on the other side, and it’s a team that’s finding its way here now. You have to play good team defense---not just defensemen---it has to be good team defense against a club like this.”

4. Pens are on other side of hemisphere from Oilers. The 8-2 hammering was one game. Rangers can be confident, but cannot have continued lapses.

 
5.  Rangers played last night and had optional skate. Pens have won two in a row.

Tortorella said the matter of the brawl and post-game comments, such as Erik Christensen's, who told Edmonton TV that he thought Sean Avery's right hand  to Ladislav Smid was a sucker punch, were "dealt with internally." 

 

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